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Out of the Rubble
Visionary filmmaker Penny Woolcock explores half a century of British urban life using films digitised for Britain on Film, the archive project from BFI and its partner archives.
Short documentary 2015 18 mins
Out of the Rubble is leading filmmaker Penny Woolcock’s creative response to Britain on Film, the archive project from the BFI in collaboration with regional partners from around the UK. Drawing on archive film digitised under the scheme, much of it unseen for decades, Woolcock explores the history of housing and British urban life over the last half a century, crafting a singular and revelatory short film.
Watch the original films used by Woolcock in our collection - Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble - or explore thousands more films in our Britain on Film map.
Britain on Film: Out of the Rubble
Non-Fiction 1965 7 mins Location: Ladywood
The tattered wallpaper of part demolished housing contrasts with gleaming new tower blocks. Ladywood in Birmingham may be on the up but what about the forgotten people?
Documentary 1942 6 mins Location: Sheffield
Sheffield stands in as 'Smokedale', an industrial Everytown, in this stirring call for "new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new life", after WWII.
Documentary 1945 22 mins Location: Coventry
Coventry prepares to rise from the ashes of WWII in this docu-drama written by Dylan Thomas.
Promotional 1961 39 mins Location: Rotherham
An absorbing picture of council services at the beginning of the 1960s, with babies getting polio jabs and girls having braces fitted, while Roots is playing at the Civic Theatre.
Documentary 1965 26 mins Silent Location: Birmingham
A bright and breezy promotional tour of Brum's original mega-mall.
Campaigning film 1953 18 mins Location: Barnet
Residents of Barnet and Stockton-on-Tees are the lucky beneficiaries of a government scheme to remedy Britain’s housing problem.
Travelogue 1907 9 mins Silent
A grand tour of Japan’s major cities, offering scenic views of the streets and daily life.
Interest film 1913 3 mins Silent
This ethnographic film offers a brief overview of the traditional culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in Japan.
Documentary 1905 4 mins
The performance of a masked dancer is followed by a scene from a kendo match, contrasting grace and ferocity.
Non-Fiction 1904 2 mins Silent
In a school gymnastic festival, boys and girls demonstrate their physical rigour through exercise and dance.
Interest film 1909 5 mins Silent
A vibrant festival with parades of fishermen and geisha celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of Yokohama Port.
1912 5 mins Silent
Pathécolor’s mechanical stencil colouring is put to good use illustrating a festival at an ancient shrine.